The General Education Language Requirement for Non-Native Speakers of English

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign requires that all undergraduate students study a "language other than English" (LOTE) through either the third or the fourth level, depending on the program and College. This is a General Education requirement.

For non-native speakers of English, it means the following:

  • All programs in the Gies College of Business, most programs in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and some programs in the College of Fine & Applied Arts require that you successfully complete four years of studying your native language at the upper secondary level (senior high school). If this is not marked on your record, you will need to demonstrate fourth-level proficiency once you come to campus.
  • For other Colleges and programs, you are required to successfully complete three years of studying your native language at the upper secondary level (senior high school). If this is not marked on your record, you will need to demonstrate third-level proficiency once you come to campus.
  • If you are entering the Division of General Studies, you should follow the requirements of the College that you intend to transfer to.

If you begin your studies at Illinois without having fulfilled the General Education language requirement, either you must take a LOTE placement exam and enroll in the appropriate course(s) until you complete the third or fourth level, as required by your College and program of studies, or you must take a LOTE proficiency exam to demonstrate your command of the language.

The language proficiency exam that you take must assess at least reading and writing abilities. If you pass a proficiency exam at the appropriate level in your native language, you will fulfill your General Education LOTE requirement, but you will not necessarily earn academic credit. You should consult with your academic advisor if you have questions about earning credit towards graduation or about fulfilling any of the Gen Ed requirements.

On-campus (not online) placement exams are offered for Japanese and Korean at the beginning of each fall and spring semester and are open to both new students and continuing students. The next opportunity will be Friday morning, August 23, 2019. Although demonstrating language proficiency in Japanese or Korean with high scores on these exams can fulfill the Gen Ed LOTE requirement, it DOES NOT earn you course proficiency credit. All students must register in advance.

Scores from the online Chinese Placement Test serve only to place students into the appropriate Chinese course. They cannot be used to fulfill the Gen Ed language requirement. Only passing results from the online Chinese Proficiency Exam will fulfill the language requirement. Contact the Testing Center if you wish to take the Chinese Proficiency Exam. Academic credit is not awarded.